Friday, August 31, 2007

He's A Man Now

Yesterday our eldest son turned eighteen, and signed a lease on an apartment near the Community College he is attending. Today he passed his driver's license test. He is majoring in criminal justice. He works as a clerk in a supermarket, but is hoping to get hired by a consumer electronics store. That way he will be able to purchase all the technology gadgets at a discounted price. He called to tell me that he also registered for a couple of things: as a Republican, and for Selective Service. We are obviously very proud of him.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Looking Forward to the Democratic Convention in 2008

From Slate comes this glimpse into the future.

"Smoking Gun from the Future:

Filed: 8/27/08 at 8:57:26 AM

On 8/26 at about 1200 hours I was working a plainclothes detail involving deviant conduct in the men's room at the Pepsi Center during the Democratic Convention. We had received civilian complaints of disorderly persons using this particular facility and had made several arrests.

I entered the men's restroom and proceeded to an unoccupied stall in the back of the restroom. Other people were using the restroom for its intended purposes.While seated in the stall, I was the third stall from the wall (which was to the East). I observed suspect, a middle aged white male, enter the stall to my left and place his roller bag against the front of the stall door.

At 1216 hours suspect tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal often used by persons wishing to criticize teachers' unions. Suspect tapped his toes several times and moved his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly.

At 1217 hours, I saw suspect swipe his hand under the divider for a few seconds, a possible sign of support for charter schools. Suspect repeated this motion again, from the front towards the back, and I could see more of his hand. Suspect then swiped his hand in the same motion for a third time. My experience has shown that this suggests an openness to publicly funded private school vouchers. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. This did not seem to deter the suspect. He began to whistle. Means-testing! I knew I had to take action. I slid my party credential under the divider and pointed to the exit. When suspect tried to leave I handcuffed him and placed him against the wall.

Suspect denied all charges and claimed he was really soliciting homosexual sex. He was immediately released."

How is that for wonderful satire?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Air Conditioning? Two Color Televisions?

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has crunched the numbers from the U.S. Census, and what he found concerning poverty in U.S. households is startling.
Overall, the typical American defined as poor by the government has a car, air conditioning, a refrig­erator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He has two color televisions, cable or satellite TV reception, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry and he had suf­ficient funds in the past year to meet his family's essential needs. While this individual's life is not opulent, it is equally far from the popular images of dire poverty conveyed by the press, liberal activists, and politicians.

Via Reason Magazine here

Tonight's Sunset

That Is All You Need To Know In Order To Cast Your Vote in 2008

Did you hear? Fidel Castro is urging America to elect Hillary President and Obama V.P. Is there anything further you need to know in order to cast your vote in 2008?
Castro photo via

I Just Want To Be Your Friend

Until dinner time.

A Front Yard Ride

My first-grader grins from ear-to-ear whenever he gets a break from home school work, but especially when he gets to ride Nivera.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Shame on Microsoft and Yahoo

Roger Simon has a post telling us how corporations such as Yahoo and Microsoft have signed agreements with the Chinese Communists to allow the Commies to learn the true identity of bloggers, thereby ending anonymous blogging in the totalitarian country. Roger also has ideas of what we bloggers can do to keep the pressure on the Commies.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Smack Em Down, Teddy

Communicating With Fast Food Order Takers

After church we often pull the van into the drive-thru window at a nearby Carl's Jr. As she always does, Colleen prefaced her order with this warning: "This will be a large order." The woman taking the order replied in broken English, "Will there be anything else?"

Update: Here is a solution being tried by a McDonald's owner in Montana.

It's No Time To Quit

Spotlight On Saudi Arabia

Gateway Pundit has photos and story of Iraqi-Americans holding a rally in Washington D.C. They protested at the White House and the Saudi embassy to publicize the role Saudi Arabia plays in fomenting terrorism in Iraq. Fifty percent of suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudi Arabian nationals.

Sock It To Him, Chris!

Chris Wallace is one of my favorite journalists. In this video posted by Allahpundit this morning, Chris gives Bill Moyers exactly what he deserves.

Just Like The Old West

Someone has been snipping the wires on our fences. We think it is the neighbor to the south, where the rainbows end. Colleen said he also tailgated her home for several miles.

New Riding Arena.

Thanks to our neighbor to the north, we now have a riding arena. Colleen just loves to ride, as does our son Jon, (and all of the rest of us). Linebacker Dude did not want to get down, and pitched a humongous tantrum when he had to. He also threw a gigantic tantrum when we left him in his Sunday School playroom, frightening the staff and other kids mightily.

This Is Why People Go All The Way To China To Adopt A Child

Dealing with the foster care system entails a lot of risks. When birthmothers see they are about to lose parental rights, they unleash a steady torrent of allegations about the care their child is getting, and the system investigates. Mau's half-brother is being cared for by his great grandmother. The hearing to terminate parental rights is scheduled for September 26. The case plan is to place her half-brother with us on that date, if parental rights are terminated. Then the danger we will face will come from the criminal thug illegal immigrant who is the father of the little boy. We think the reason great grandmother is continuing to care for him until that date is to protect us from the coke-snorting punk and his fellow illegals. Great-grandmother plans to come out with the caseworker on the 26th. We will always keep her involved in the lives of her great grandchildren. Unfortunately, she is the only one of a whole slew of relatives who can pass the background check of the department.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Shoe Organizing

I decided to do some shoe matching and rounding up and organizing today. Thirty-five pairs of shoes for the five youngest! Another fifteen shoes that I could not find matches for! I'll bet if I wander down toward the sandbox I'll find a few more.

Another Social Services Investigation.

Another visit between Mau Mau and birthmother, another investigation of the foster home! Mau Mau showed up with a bruise on her cheek (which she has had for several days), and since we are a foster home, we should expect an unannounced visit from Social Services at any moment. The rule is a good one. We have no idea how Mau got the bruise. There are two likely possibilities. One is that she fell, as she does many times each day, being a toddler who doesn't have a real steady stance many times. The other is that she may have been hit by Linebacker Dude, while he was trying to take something from her, as he does with all of his siblings, especially when we, the parents, are not looking. It happened again just as I was typing this!

This will be the third time in four and one-half years in which we have been investigated. The first time was when we discovered a six-year-old foster child molesting her three-year-old sister and our own son, who was four at the time. We filed a report because we wanted to get the kind of counseing each one needed. The caseworker called us on her cell phone on the way to our house and warned us that if she did not like what she saw, she would "shut us down!" Her findings? "Unfounded!" Meaning that she did not find that we were neglectful. Meanwhile, the little girls never got the counseling they needed. The six-year-old did get "counseling" from a graduate student who had only one goal, it appeared, and that was to get the little girl to like her! How many people do you think she will molest in her lifetime? Oh, I forgot, females don't molest, do they? Only males. Or at least that is what a look at prison statistics would tell you. My personal experience, though, is that female molestation is as common as male molestation, but our society looks at it differently.

The second time we were investigated was recently. I wrote about it in a recent blog post. The toddler was refusing to allow birthmother to change her diapers during supervised visits, so birthmother imagined that Mau surely must be molested in our home, where she readily allows me or Colleen to change her diaper. Foster homes are at the bottom of the system's totem pole, along with the kids who are placed with us. Termination of parental rights is scheduled for September 26, and it could not come a moment too soon, as far as we are concerned. Mau has been with us since the first week of June, 2006. We first got her after her birthmother broke her leg in February, 2006.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Tonight's Hoedown

"Can I see?" Can I see?" "Is it going to be on your blog?"

A New Day

The morning sun hits the top of the crown of thorns plant, and a happy little girl goes for her morning run around the deck. When she came to us, she would not move, and was sad or cranky all of the time. She just wanted a bottle. Fourteen months later, she is a spunky, lively, joyous little girl, loving life. We are amazed and thankful.

The Welcoming Tree

The welcoming tree at our front gate is at it again, sprouting new purple blossoms.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Republican Party Picnic

The flyer said it would be a picnic. Potato sack races, horseshoes, hamburgers and hot dogs, at the county fair building. So we loaded the kids in the van and headed for a fun time! It was a beautiful day, but no one was outside, which should have been our first clue. But, we happily jumped out of the van, walked across the parking lot that was filled with vehicles, and looked inside. It looked like a nursing home gathering. No kids, no families, no potato sack races, because they were afraid of falling and breaking a hip. The speaker, probably a county commissioner, was telling the crowd how things were going great for him since he got into this job. I glanced at my wife, and as soon as our eyes met, we knew what we must do. Simultaneously, we both wheeled around and headed for the exit, which was the same door in which we entered. If this is typical of the heartbeat of the Republican Party, the activists who make the party hum, things don't look real good for the G.O.P., unless Ike is running again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Covering All The Bases

Victor Davis Hansen is amazing. In this one post he covers many of the most important issues of our day. Hiking prisitine, majestic mountains, Bush Derangement Syndrome, the rule of law, the disastrous effects of illegal immigration, media self-righteousness and hypocrisy, mortgage wisdom slowly acquired but swiftly thrown away, the need to shun tribalism and separatism and to encourage integration and assimilation, our failure to learn the lessons of history, the importance of uniform language, and more!

They Know

Our neighbor is leveling an area in the pasture for a riding arena. The horses can't wait! They are running back and forth, showing us they know exactly what is going on!

Order, Discipline, Predictability

I met another neighbor this week. He is from Checkloslavakia. I asked him about it. He said that under Communism the country had discipline and was clean. Yes, people lived in fear, but they were employed in the factories, had free health care, and there was order! Since he seemed to be lamenting the death of the former Communist state, I asked him why he came to America. One word: jobs! I asked him how he liked America. He said it was very different, and he did not seem to want to make a compliment. He admitted that because he was not lazy, he had made a good life for his family, and that anybody who was not lazy could make it in America. But I sensed a longing for the order, discipline, and predictability of his homeland before the fall of Communism.

First Day Of School

Today was the first day of school for the second, eighth, and ninth graders. They all enjoyed it, polyestor uniforms and all! The eldest son had his orientation day last night at college, and I was able to go with him before spending the night in the hospital. He is highly motivated, and we found all of his classrooms. He has an apartment and is working at a local supermarket. The first grader is homeschooling with me, and it is pure joy. He is wonderfully meticulous and creative. I am pretty sure the creativity would not be brought out as often in the public school classroom. Each time we finish something, I ask him if he wants to draw a picture of what we just studied. He then puts his own flair, his own version, his own meaning to what we learned.

More Colors From The Magical Kingdom On The High Plains

I should have known there would be a rainbow tonight. We had a lightning strike at 9 a.m.! My m.i.l. is telling us that we should have a lightning rod. Anybody know about such things?

How To Beautify Your Front Fence!

One of my favorite places to visit is Tagawa Gardens south of Denver. They grow these plants in mixed arrangements and hook them up to fences. Talk about a way to beautify your home!

Be Of Good Cheer

This bright red/yellow flower is one of my favorites. Here it is after a morning bath.

Look On The Sunny Side

I believe these cheery flowers are called rudbeckia. They take a lot of water, but I like the results.

Pleasant Surprises

I am so grateful to the gardening/landscaping person who lived in this house several years ago. This is a bush at the front of the house that surprised me this week with blue blooms!

A Night In The Hospital

Last night I spent the night in the hospital. No, no injury or accident. I got checked for sleep apnea, and learned that I have it. Of course, this will be no surprise to Colleen. The mask that they used covered both my nose and mouth, and I woke up to the sound of air being let out of a balloon and my cheeks puffed with air. I'm not sure Colleen is going to like that sound any better than the snoring! A technician will analyze the graph data, then a doctor, then my personal physician. In a couple of weeks I should be fitted with a mask that works better. They have ones that fit over the nose and not the mouth, and ones that fit under the nose. I hope this post doesn't put any of you to sleep. They are learning that there is a tie between sleep apnea and cardiovascular problems, as well as to overall well-being. My oxygen levels got as low as 69 during REM sleep, and they want your levels not to drop below 90 percent.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Update on the Four Tier Garden

While standing on the deck waiting for the sun to set, I took this photo of the garden.

Tonight's Sunset

Tonight the sky was a bright white, then orange, then pink. I was ready this time. The camera does not do God justice.

Last Night's Sunset

You can see the beginnings of a powerful thunderstorm; the puffy orange build-ups about one hundred miles to the east, northeast. Kansas and Nebraska, you better be alert!

Cows and Sunflowers

Sunflowers now line both sides of every dirt road on the high plains. And, yes, there are cows in this photo. If you click on the image, you might see black dots just above the barbed wire. Those are Black Angus cows.

Friday, August 17, 2007

More Revelations About The Democrats' Number One Hypocrite

Ace has a story here about John Edwards having sixteen million dollars invested in a company foreclosing on subprime mortgage homes -- including in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans!

Tonight's Sunset

There was a much broader brightness and a rainbow, but it took me ten frantic minutes to find my camera.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Feel Like Such A Hypocrite

This year I am only going to homeschool one child, our first-grader. Our oldest will be going to college. Our next one is a ninth-grader, then an eighth-grader and a second-grader. I will be home with the first-grader, the three-year-old, two two-year-olds, and a one-year-old half-brother of Mau Mau.

Colleen found a charter school with very high academic standards and an emphasis on character development. The students wear uniforms that are heavy on the polyester percentages. I have not worn polyester since the early seventies, and now I am sending my kids to a school that REQUIRES them to wear polyester? What a hypocrite!

And that is only the beginning. Tonight we went to the New Families Orientation. It was incredibly boring. After one-half-hour, I was cracking wise to my wife, who started to get the giggles. Luckily, we were seated at the far end of the bleachers, which was completely appropriate for a guy who no longer has patience for self-important bureaucrats who take a half-hour to tell parents how to enter and exit the parking lot.

Release The Records Now!

Kim Priestap asks, "Hillary Clinton has said that one of the reasons she should be elected president is her experience, a very important part of which is her record as first lady; however, over 2 million of Hillary's records are currently at the Clinton Presidential Library, but she won't let anyone see them until after the 2008 election. So what's she hiding?"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Gardens

This is a new garden I have created on the south side of the house. Only two tiers this time. Yes, those are bamboo plants leaning over to protect the smaller plants. No, this is not China; it is Colorado. Those plants were a big surprise.

More August Sunsets On The High Plains

These were taken on horseback.

Blocking Dummies

We took the gang to the last free-to-the-public Dever Broncos football practice before the preseason games began. When the practice was over, we borrowed the blocking dummies.

Celebrating Life

Last night was my birthday, so Colleen and I got away for the first time in a couple of months. It was great! As we left the house, God started to paint the sky. When we returned, lightning was lighting up the sky over the plains. It would start at the left end of the sky, then move to the right like a curtain opening. then visa versa. The strikes did not always go downward. Sometimes they would go upward, or form a kind of letter "c". We drove home all alone on a dirt road going about 25 mph watching the show

Sunday, August 12, 2007

No Grandmas, No Grandmas

This photo was taken at the county fair. Linebacker Dude is climbing up and over a ten foot plastic wall, completely all on his own two-year-old determination. When he dropped down on the other side, he had a huge, beaming proud smile on his face!
We received some news from the caseworker who is supposed to be working in the best interests of Linebacker Dude. She told us that his grandmother from California is coming to live with the great grandmother and LD's ten-year-old half-sister in the Denver metro area around Labor Day. A previous caseworker had told us that this woman has a drug problem and had been passed over by the authorities in consideration of placement with her of other of L.D.'s siblings. We have been waiting on a request from Colorado asking California to make a recommendation. I asked the caseworker about that, and she said there has been no response from California. Nevertheless, she expects to place him with the grandmothers in September: case closed!

There are some problems with this convenient solution. One is that L.D. has adopted us as his family. Another is that he has enormous rage, enormous strength, and needs a firm guiding hand. When my wife told LD about the plans, he responded vehemently, "No Grandmas, No Grandmas!"

Saturday, August 11, 2007

No Whole Pieces

We took the whole crew to a county fair. In order to avoid the anticpated high cost of food there, we stopped at Kentucky Fried Chicken. There was a sign over the cash register that read "No Whole Peices of Chicken". I asked, "Would you please explain the sign to me?" The clerk calmly stated, "No breasts, no thighs, no drumsticks." I said, "Am I in Kentucky Fried Chicken?" "Yes, but we are also a Taco Bell, and you can order cut-up chicken from the Taco Bell menu."

We had a great time at the fair, and I did not forget to look for God's painting in the sky, which was magnificent.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Three of My Favorites

I know, you are thinking: Sunflowers? Yes, sunflowers. I am purposely encouraging clusters of sunflowers everywhere on the property. I love the purple cosmos, too. The wild red rose bush is at the front of the house.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

We're Not In Suburbia Any More, Toto!

Tonight we got together with the neighbors to the north. They have adopted two children from the foster care system, so you know they have big hearts. The man is part Navajo. He is going to help us build a riding arena. While walking the property, they admired our goats. They also told us they have a foosball game they want to get rid of. Before you know it, the female neighbor is hogtying our only male goat onto their ATV, and riding off into the sunset (photos below). The trade was a good one, because our little male goat was starting to get eyes for the three female goats to whom he is related (not good). Meanwhile, the foosball game is drawing plenty of interest from our children tonight. And, honestly, I would not be surprised if the neighbors have goat and eggs for breakfast tomorrow morning! Just don't tell me about it, please.

Update (Next Morning):
Baby goat is on the roof of his pen at the neighbor's, calling every second for his mama. Mama is responding every second.

Contrast that with Linebacker Dude's actual life experience with his mother. No one was there in his first eighteen months to answer his call. Now his rage is unquenchable. I hope his mama is having a fine old time. Who said goats are lower on the food chain than humans?

Never Stop Expecting Him To Be There!

Since we had a cloudless sky tonight, I almost forgot to look up. Big mistake! I ran in and grabbed the camera, and
the following pictures were captured. Next time I will learn my lesson, and always look forward expectantly to God's paintings! 
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